Later Arrival For All!

Amalia Plentzas, Staff Writer

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Every single day thousands of kids get up at 7 o’clock in the morning and go to school overtired. Beginning the day, students want nothing more than to fall asleep, but for the next six hours and thirty minutes students must fight their bodies’ natural urge to snooze. The inability to focus in classes on early mornings makes passing the class even harder. This problem can be easily solved by allowing kids to wake up refreshed and ready to learn with a later school day.

Waking up early can cause bad attitudes for most kids. Earlier days can also make you less alert during the drive to school and in classes. My junior year is when I stopped being able to wake up with a good attitude; I stayed up late because my body was used to it from the summer, and 7:56.a.m school days became my worst nightmare. School days should have a later start, and classes should be cut down to 45 minutes to maintain the attention from all students. When classes are delayed due to snow, every class still fits in the day at a shorter length and students are able to sleep in. A 9:56.a.m start seems much more efficient to everyone. Including exhausted teachers who stay up late grading!

The benefits of starting school late are very straight forward: more rest. There is a natural biological tendency for teens to stay up late and want to sleep in. Physicians recommend teens get at least 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night. Those who don’t face a number of health risks that can have serious consequences on their mental and physical well-being, according to ‘The Education Degree.’ However, there are reasons school is unable to have a later start time. Timing being a problem because of the amount of hours needed to be in a school setting; the requirement being about 900-1,000 hours of school.

Though, having a later start time would be more beneficial, as students who do not get at least 8 hours of sleep are more likely to get injured on the field. It is much better to have a late start to practice, rather than a broken bone. Another reason is driving, teens are the root of half of all traffic accidents; those who get more sleep can be more trust-worthy being behind the wheel in the morning.

According to school laws, “Most [schools] require between 175 and 180 days of school and/or between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time.” If school starts at 9:56am and ends 50 minutes later at 3:30pm, rather than 2:40pm for 180 days we will reach about 954 hours of school; this would satisfy the requirement for hours spent in school. The solution to better school days, focus, clarity, creating better attitudes, making sure students and staff are healthy and safe can be provided with a later start to the school day.